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Full text of "Verdict On India"

72                                        VERDICT  OX INTDIA
the walls of the Hindu temple may be shown in their true outlines.
We have compared the two symbols of Christ and Ganesh.
The comparison was dramatic, but it may be claimed that it was
merely a literary conjuring trick, a verbal sleight of hand, proving
nothing. The critic may suggest that it would be just as easy to
play the trick the other way round, to point to some cheap tawdry
image of Christ, pink and white and tinselled (such as one sees
in the back streets of Naples), and compare it with some noble
statue from the great temple at Conjeveram. We will let the
critic make his point* It is not of great importance, for we were
not really concerned with idols but with ideals. And now that
the time has come to examine those ideals, we shall find ourselves
on such firm ground that no critic will be able to dislodge us.
fiBy their fruits shall ye judge them,' said Christ. We will obey
this injunction. We will put the fruits of Christianity and Hindu-
ism side by side. This will be no me^e clash of symbols, it will
be a clash of systems, a war of two worlds—two worlds that can
never meet.
We can introduce (and summarize) otir argument with a striking
generalization that ought to be written over the entrance of every
Christian legislature.
6Little by little, Christianity creeps into the statute book.*
It was, I believe, Lord Morley who wrote this. Whoever may
have been its author, the generalization is illuminating; it
precisely describes the trend of modern legislation in civilized
countries, which is 'progressive* in exact ratio to the extent to
which it embraces Christianity.
We will match it with a generalization of our own.
6 Little by little, Hinduism creep our OF the statute book.'
That is an unchallengeable description of the trend of modern
legislation in India. It is6 progressive' in exact ratio to the extent
to which it rejects Hindui^a.
This contrast is so significant, its implications are of such grave
consequence, that the casual reader is asked to ponder the two
generalizations for a moment, and to clothe them with substance
from his own experience. He will not find such difficulty in doing
so, even if he only chooses his examples from comparatively
recent history.